How To Discuss Your Layoff With A Potential Employer


Getting laid off sucks. If you’ve ever experienced a company layoff, you probably remember feeling a range of uncomfortable emotions and freaking out about your next move. But after you’ve mourned your former position and you’re ready to start looking for jobs, thinking about telling a potential employer about your layoff can feel awkward. Luckily, there is a right way to do it. Here’s how to discuss the unfortunate incident in an interview setting.

1. Be completely honest.

You might get conflicting advice from friends and family, but the responsible thing to do is tell your potential employer the truth. You don’t have to go into detail about what happened, but make sure that you explain that you were not fired, especially if you were laid off with a ton of other people.

The Perfect Sentence: My company faced some hardship and as a result cut X people from their team, including me. 

2. Take the high road.


Even if your former company was the bane of your existence, don’t let that show in an interview. Your cringing response to hearing about your dinner date’s ex is the exact same response your potential employer will have to you trash talking your former situation. Keep things light and focus on the future, establishing that you’re excited for what comes next.

The Perfect Sentence: I wish the company well, and I’m very excited to move forward in my career by moving into this particular type of role. 

3. Explain what you’ve learned.

Potential employers enjoy a bit of reflection on what you’ve learned from your past roles. As we stated above, keep it light and positive and tell them what you learned from the layoff experience and from the company. Then, tie it nicely into your desired position and how you can bring those valuable lessons into your next role.

The Perfect Sentence: Through this experience, I was able to realize not only what I expect of a company but also what type of company I’m looking for in my next position.